Throughout history, the US has found strategic partners in Europe, both in trade and war. The “Special Relationship”, as Churchill put it, with the UK is the first thing that comes to mind, but is far from the only one. It is easy to understand just that when you consider that 25 of the 28 NATO members are from Europe and the European Union as a whole is the biggest trading partner the US has.
Today, as new security threats rise and try to bring terror to Europe and America and with EU facing a big financial crisis and its biggest test ever with Brexit, US and EU would fare better if able of finding common ground and help each other face the challenges ahead.
With the upcoming elections, a new cycle is coming to US politics and it may have a big impact on the relations with outside. A quick look at the two major candidates helps us understand how.
Donald Trump is a political incorrect bully. That is surely a down in many things, but it can actually be a major up when dealing with EU officials. It is important to understand that the EU leaders of today are far from the likes of Churchill or de Gaulle, instead lacking courage and doing whatever it takes to look good in the eyes of the masses. So, they will certainly criticise him publicly, but end up submitting to the deal they can get.
Hillary is the total opposite, a cynical bureaucrat just like the ones in Brussels, having her in the Oval Office would mean the people of both US and EU would have to live through four more years of deals being made behind close doors and with their individual liberties endangered.
So, with weak European leaders and far from perfect presidential candidates, what then? Keep walking happily towards the precipice and insisting in a path that has been proven to be a failed one? Or go into the realms of the unknown, have US take the lead again, even though an unpredictable one, and try to change how things are?
As I see it, the only option is to go with change. Trump may have some bad policy proposals, but is some good ones too and there is one single thing we know for sure: if we keep things as they are, it only gets worse.